POST TIME: 22 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Enact the right to food act immediately
BSS, Dhaka

Enact the right to food act immediately

Speakers at a dialogue today said Bangladesh should enact a law on Right to Food and implement it in order to ensure adequate amount of food and nutrition for the poor and extremely poor people in the country.

“Enacting the right to food act is a demand of the hour,” said Mohsin Ali, general secretary of the Right to Food movement.

“If it is made into a law, its effectiveness will increase and the scope for accountability is widened.”

Mohsin was speaking at a dialogue on the “Need to Enact a Food Right Act and the Role of the Media” at the conference room of the Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) in Dhaka. The Right to Food Bangladesh and the ERF jointly organised the dialogue.

Arshad Hossain Siddiqui, lobby and advocacy expert for South & Central Asia Region at ICCO Cooperation, a global non-governmental organisation, echoed Mohsin Ali.

Siddiqui said: “An act on the right to food and safe food has to be formulated. The constitution has guaranteed the right to food. Now it should be legally established.”

In Bangladesh, the poverty rate is 21.8 percent, which is 3.55 crore out of the 16.36 crore people in Bangladesh. The extreme poverty rate is 11.13 percent, or about 2 crore, said Mohsin Ali, using the planning commission data.

About 2.5 crore people are suffering from malnutrition, he said.

Ali, also the executive

director of the Wave Foundation, said the access to adequate food is seen in the light of a right. The United Nations also declared it as human rights. The first two Sustainable Development Goals also address poverty and hunger.

“When you make it a right, then it doesn’t remain as a matter of giving alms; rather it becomes an entitlement.”